Healthy Mediterranean Salad for Spring

 

Traditional seven layer dips are staples of BBQs and other types of get-togethers. But they’re also filled with things that aren’t exactly great for you – like lots and lots of sour cream. The Greek Seven Layer dip is a good alternative for anyone looking for a healthier option.

The Mediterranean diet is well known as one of the healthiest around. This dip celebrates that, offering you wellness in tiers.

Time to prepare: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt (if vegan, use vegan Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed or Greek seasoning (this seasoning is found in specialty stores)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup hummus (of course!)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup seeded, diced cucumbers
  • 1 cup seeded, diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Pita chips, chopped vegetables, or flatbread

How to prepare:

  1. In a bowl, combine yogurt, dill weed or seasoning, lemon juice and garlic. Mix until the liquid is light and fluffy. Then spread into the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
  2. Spread a layer of hummus on top of the yogurt. Then create the rest of the layers in the following order: cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, scallions, and feta cheese. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  3. Serve with pita chips, chopped vegetables, or flatbread.

This layer dip is a summery treat. Forget the Snow Cones and, instead, go Greek.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Keeler.

 

 

Quick Stir Fry Noodles

 

Asian Noodles

From college students to parents, noodles are a staple of dinner. There’s a reason for this: noodles are easy! If you can boil water, you can prepare pasta. And you don’t need to plan ahead: this is the perfect on-the-go dish for on-the-go people.

The Quick Stir Fry Noodles offer the ease of plain noodles but with a little something extra. The ingredients amp up nutrition and provide a well-rounded feast full of flavor. It’s a dish so good your kids will eat their veggies without hours of protest.

 

Time : 30 minutes  Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of noodles – any kind can be used from spaghetti to quinoa-based
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced white cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced red cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp of reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of Sambal Oelek chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 bunch scallion
  • 1 cup tofu cubes, sauteed

 

spring veggies

How to prepare:

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Then drain well, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Add ginger, scallions, cabbage, squash, zucchini, and bell pepper.

4. Cook and stir frequently until tender.

5. Add chili paste and soy sauce, then stir.

6. Serve immediately.

7. Garnish with cilantro and crushed peanuts.

This dish is great when you need to be fast. It’s full of fine flavors and good health that lasts!

 

Enjoy!

 

Saute’ Veggies

 

 

Misti Sandesh

Misti Sandesh

Misti Sandesh is a dish made with milk and sugar (we know, we know, we had you at sugar!). It’s popular all over India and used as a celebratory dessert. But it’s not limited to parties and feasts – it’s perfect for anytime you want something sweet without too much effort.

This paneer dish is packed with punch of protein.

http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-paneer-or-cottage-cheese/

It’s a light dish that melts in your mouth with a traceable history. It appears in some parts of medieval Bengali literature, meaning it’s delicious enough to stand the test of time.

Misti Sandesh is best eaten fresh, within a few days of preparing. Don’t worry: that won’t be a problem!

Prep time : 30 minutes

Serves : 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice or 1 tsp. of white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. pistachio saffron and cardamom powder to sprinkle

 

Preparation:

1. Bring milk to boil (use a heavy saucepan so that milk doesn’t stick to the bottom).

2. Stir continuously.

3. Once the milk is boiling, add lemon juice or vinegar; the milk will begin to curdle.

4. Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and drain the milk.

5. Rinse with water to wash away the sourness of the lemon juice.

6. Knead the dough softly and firmly.

7. Add powdered sugar and knead the dough into a smooth ball.

8. If desired, you may knead the dough into small balls and garnish with pistachios.

9. Alternatively, you may line a pan with wax paper and flatten the dough inside; then sprinkle on nuts to garnish and cut into bite-size pieces.

10. Refrigerate for around two hours.

11. Take out and enjoy!

 

Misti Sandesh is a wonderful trick when you want something sweet and you want to be quick! It’s a light little snack that makes people say, “yum.” And none will be left – not even a crumb!

Along with satisfying sweet tooth it is loaded with protein and hing in antioxidant. One of the great benefit of paneer is that it is rich in calcium, minerals and linoleic acid.

So Enjoy without feeling  guilty!

 

Kansar: Traditional Gujarati Sweet Dish

KANSAR: Traditional Gujarati Sweet Dish

 Sweet Cracked Wheat : Youth booster

If youth came in a bottle, it’d fly off the shelves at every grocery store around. We’d buy it in bulk, filling out refrigerators and stuffing our pantries. There’s no doubt about it: youth would be a best-seller.

Unfortunately, it’s not for sale, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives. One of these is cracked wheat.

Cracked wheat has the unique ability to retain the natural nutrients of whole grains. These include vitamin E (which helps you fight aging), fiber, and vitamin B. It’s also full of antioxidants, another thing that keeps you as young as possible for as long as possible.

Kansar, a traditional Gujarati sweet dish, is a meal that enhances the benefits of cracked wheat. It’s a staple of festivals and weddings in certain parts of India, but it’ll look nice on your kitchen table as well!

Kansar is also believed to bring good luck: eat it before you play the lottery!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cooking level: easy

  • Ingredients:
    3/4 cup cracked wheat or wheat germ
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    4 cups of water
    3 tbsp. of jaggery, or molasses,  or agave nectar, or brown sugar
    2 tsp. white fine sugar in powder form for sprinkling
    3 tbsp. of ghee or unsalted butter*

*For vegans  canola oil can be used as a substitute.

Preparation:

1. Mix cracked wheat and wheat flour.
2. Add 1 tbsp. of ghee or butter into the flour.
3. In a medium sauce pan, boil the water, add jaggery or molasses (or agave nectar for a sugar free recipe).
4. Add cracked wheat to the flour mixture and put the mix into the boiling water.
5. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
6. Check that the water is absorbed completely.
7. When finished cooking, sprinkle with ghee/oil and powdered sugar.
Enjoy this sweet dish whenever you can. It only takes twenty minutes with few pots and pans!  It’s a quick fix for a delectable bite – what are you waiting for? Make it tonight!

Seven Layer Mexican Dip


This seven layer dip is always a huge hit at parties. Your guests will love you after this one.

It can be made in advance and refrigerated, making it the perfect dish if you have to bring something to a family gathering or party.

Similarly, we have a Homemade Salsa Recipe that is another party hit: Fresh & Mild Salsa

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 Can Jalapeño Bean Dip
1 Container Sour Cream
1 Container Avocado Dip
Small Bunch Scallions, washed & cut
3 Large Tomatoes, chopped
1 Can Black Olives
1 Bottle Salsa
1 Cup Cheese, grated
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
 

Directions:

  1. Spread out the beans in a flat pan.
  2. Add taco seasoning to the sour cream. Spread the mixture gently on top of the beans.
  3. Spread either a homemade or store-bought avocado dip on top of the sour cream.
  4. Spread salsa to taste.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top of the salsa.
  6. Now garnish with black cut olives and green onions.
  • Health Benefits: Avocados are an excellent source of the healthy monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol and can help protect against breast cancer. They also contain the highest amount of the carotenoid lutein among commonly eaten fruits, along with high amounts of other carotenoids and vitamin E, which together have been found to inhibit different types of cancer growth.
    Additionally, because healthy carotenoids are fat-soluble, consuming avocados, which are naturally rich in monounsaturated fat helps to enhance your body’s ability to absorb these healthy nutrients from other vegetables.
    Cilantro, sometimes referred to as Mexican or Chinese parsley, has a strong flavor that people usually either love or hate. In Mexican cuisine, it’s a popular herb used in guacamole, salsas, and sauces.
  • Health Benefits: Cilantro is rich in beneficial phytonutrients, flavonoids and active phenolic acid compounds, which may be responsible for many of its health benefits. Cilantro and its seeds have been found to help control blood sugar, lower cholesterol and fight inflammation and free radicals. Cilantro may also have antimicrobial properties.
    Fresh and dried chili peppers are what give Mexican dishes their characteristic spice, though specific peppers are used for flavor while others are used for heat. Some popular varieties include jalapeno, poblano, serrano, guajillo, chipotle, pasilla, habanero, ancho, Mulato, and cascabel.
  • Health Benefits: Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers, giving them not only their spice but also their health benefits. In fact, the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. This spicy compound has been found to Fight cancer, prevent sinusitis and relieve congestion, fight inflammation also helping burn fat, provide pain relief and a major factor in protecting the heart by a reduction in cholesterol, triglycerides, and platelet protection
    Beans are yet another staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine, perhaps second only to corn. While a variety of beans, like pinto, lentils, kidney beans and fava beans, are used in Mexican cooking, the focus is on pinto and black beans because they’re far more common in Mexican cooking and they offer many nutritional benefits — loads of antioxidants. Normally Mexican beans are served boiled or fried.
  • Health Benefits: Pinto and black beans are rich in antioxidants, beans are high in dietary fiber, which is an excellent cholesterol fighter, and the complex carbohydrates they contain help keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day — essential for staying alert and feeling energized.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! I love to hear from my readers!
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[Video] How to Make Roti

Watch a step by step video at the bottom of the recipe. Enjoy!

Roti is very healthy and fulfilling. It is staple food all over India.

Roti is more popular today than it ever has been before. There are numerous types of roti that you can make and they all taste equally amazing.

Roti can be made from various different flours: sorghum, corn, whole wheat, all purpose, etc.

This recipe is an everyday healthy version and is traditionally eaten day after day.

I grew up eating roti as tortillas, and never had the bread that is found here.
It is healthy and after a few tries, one can master the art of rolling the roti into a round shape.

Cooking Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 12-14

Ingredients:

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour sifted
2 Tsp Oil optional
2 TBsp Butter or Ghee to spread
1/4-3/4 Cup Water warm
1/2 Cup Plain Flour to dust roti
Salt (optional)

How to Prepare:

  1. Mix flour, oil and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add water as needed to make the dough a smooth consistency.
  3. Let dough sit for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Knead dough for a few minutes, until it is very smooth and rollable.
  5. Divide dough equally into 12-14 pieces.
  6. Dust them with flour.
  7. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
  8. Heat the skillet.
  9. Gently place rolled out roti on the skillet on medium heat.
  10. In few seconds, bubbles will appear. Flip roti over. Let the other side cook for a few seconds and then remove from skillet.
  11. Broil it on an open flame. It will puff up.
  12. Apply ghee or butter and the roti is ready!

Roti can be eaten with Dahl and vegetables – this is what we do.

However, it is also great as a wrap for a burrito.

There are countless ways to eat Roti:

  • Chips: Cut the cooked roti into strips or wedges, and dip the roti chips into any type of dip! Check out some of the chutneys on our blog.
  • Quesadillas: Use two cooked roti’s to make a quesadilla! Lay one roti down, put your favourite toppings on top, layer the second roti on top, and press or grill the quesadilla until the inside is melted.
  • Burrito: Simply lay your cooked roti down, put any desired toppings on one half of the roti, and roll, until you end up with a burrito! Easy, quick and so delicious.
  • Roti Stir-Fry: Cut the cooked roti up into small wedges or squares. In a saucepan, eat up some oil and fry some of your favourite vegetables. Once the vegetables are almost done, add the roti pieces to the saucepan, and fry them with the vegetables. Add’s a delicious crunch to your typical stir-fry!
  • Roti Lasagna: Place a cooked roti in the bottom of a baking pan. Add your preferred vegetables and sauce, layer with another roti, and continue the layering for as many times as you desire (or can fit in your pan). Then, bake the lasagna in the oven at 190 Celsius, and serve once warm!

There are many other ways to eat and cook with roti, but those are just a few that I think are amazing and take little time and effort!

Watch this video and learn how to make delicious, soft Roti:

Tips: If you are a beginner, first watch someone else make this who is experienced. This video should help.

Also, check out these related posts:

http://www.thevegfusion.com/bhakri-thick-indian-bread/

http://www.thevegfusion.com/bajra-ki-roti-old-fashion-way/

Asian Noodle Bowl

 

 

A Power Bowl punch for lunch is a great idea.

Recently I’ve been trying out various “bowl recipes”, which is essentially real food in the easiest way: one simple bowl.

The great thing about this recipe is that you only need a few basic ingredients, and can just throw in whatever you have on hand.

I like to use leftover beans, but you can substitute those for any ingredients that you love.

This recipe is courtesy of Reena.

Asian Noodle Bowl Recipe:

Serves: 4; Level: Easy;  Total Time: 15 minutes

Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic and ginger paste
  • 1/2 cup onion cube
  • 1/2 cup cut carrot
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon Knor brand
  • Salt and pepper to taste Less is better
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five spice
  • 1 cup Rice noodles
  • Few sticks of lemongrass tied

How To prepare:

  1. Cook rice noodles separately. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat the oil. Saute onion, garlic.and ginger.
  3. Add carrots, spinach and any other veggies you want.
  4. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  5. Add quinoa, vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper, soy sauce and Chinese Five Spice.
  6. Let it boil and cook for five to seven minutes.
  7. When its ready, add noodles into bowl and top with hot soup.
  8. Feel free to garnish with sprouts, crushed peanuts, spring onion and my favourite: cilantro.

Sautéed Tofu cubes are a great addition to this meal.

This soup tends to be on the watery side, so it is fun to slurp it up.

I enjoy this soup thoroughly and I think you will too!

I would love to know which are your favourite toppings to add to this soup!!

Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Healthy Marshmallow Root Tea

Healthy Reasons You Should be Drinking Marshmallow Root Tea:

Marshmallow Root Tea

Soak, Boil, Steep and Sip –  the mantra for today’s tea drinkers.

I am a tea fashionista; I simply adore it and can’t get enough. Honestly, I can drink tea in any form or flavor.

My favorite kind of tea is the Indian Chai tea. It’s extremely popular and well known, but don’t underestimate its amazing taste.

Recently my friend introduced me to Marshmallow Root tea.

My grandma and mom like to call it “old fashion Kava”.

Kava is usually soaked and boiled, before being reduced to a half a cup. I like to add a little jagri or a local honey and drink it up.

Amazing! It works wonders on your body! Check out the health benefits.

If you get a cold from being caught in the rain or a case of seasonal sickness, drinking this tea would get rid of your sickness after just three days.

Most ingredients in this tea are roots and spices, and then I like to add a few ingredients from my kitchen pantry.

Marshmallow Root tea is an herbal tea.

 

To make this delicious tea:

 

 

  • Take 2 teaspoons of roots and soak them for about an hour or two.
  • Boil to reduce, and add a 1/4 teaspoon of honey.
  • Enjoy the amazing taste and all the healthy benefits that are packed within!
  • For more information about marshmallow root, check out this link here.

 

Effortless Vegan Chocolate Pie

Vegan Chocolate Pie

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes (Plus 6 hours to refrigerate)

Recently I made this vegan chocolate pie and served with aquafaba. No need to say everyone was in love at first bite.
Ingredients:
1       Keebler 9″           Graham cracker pie crust ready made

2 Package Two Package Baker’s Semi-Sweet or
Sweet Chocolate Bar
1 Teaspoon One tsp Vanilla

one tsp maple syrup

1 12.3 Oz. Package One 12.3 Ounce Silky Tofu NORI-NU silken firm tofu
White Chocolate & Raspberries to Garnish
Cool Whip Optional

How to Prepare:

  1. In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for one minute. Stir and add one minute till it melts.
  2. Using an electric mixer, blend the vanilla ,maple syrup and tofu into the melted chocolate until smooth and creamy.
  3. Let it set in a refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Garnish with raspberry and shaved white chocolate.
  5. Add Aquafaba to substitute whipping cream.
  6.  Yum! Enjoy!

Spiced Up Green Beans

Green Beans
Green Beans are an everyday staple in my household. We cook it almost once a week.  Green beans are also called Fansi Nu Shaak.

Cooking Difficulty Level:  Easy
Cooking Time: 20-25 Minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan

Ingredients:

2 Pounds Fresh Green Beans
2 Tablespoons Oil
1/2 Small Chopped Onion (optional)
1/4 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
2 Teaspoons Coriander & Cumin Powder
1 Teaspoon Ajwain
Pinch Asafoetida
Fresh Grated Coconut to garnish
Chopped Cilantro to garnish
Salt to taste
Washed & Cut Green Beans

How to prepare:

  1. Wash, trim, and chop green beans into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan with a lid.
  3. Add Ajwain, Asafoetida, and Green Beans.
  4. Add Salt, Turmeric, Coriander, and Cumin Powder.
  5. Stir well and cover.
  6. Reduce heat to low, mix well, and cook for 10 minutes until done.
  7. Garnish with Cilantro and Chopped Onion.
  8. Slivered Almonds and Shaved Coconut Flakes can also be used as garnish.
  9. An easy variation of this recipe would be to add small cut potatoes, chopped onions, or peas.
  10. It is ideal with Roti,  Rice and any kind of Dals.